Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Start-Page" Wars- The Curse of the "Tweaker"

I am busy working on the next post in my first-ever book review series (click here to jump to the initial article), but didn't quite get the next post done in time to post tonight.

So I'll take a little fun break. Or what I find fun. Ha ha. You may not. I don't know about you, but I love to tweak my browser (Firefox, of course), and also, my "start page". You know, those pages that you can have on the Internet where you can add all the content you want, like news feeds, or local weather, or a little clock, etc.? "My Yahoo" is an example of one that's been around a long time. But the new start pages have really gone all "Web 2.0" in sophistication. So this gets a "tweaker" like me into trouble because (I hope you some of you know what I'm talking about) I'll tweak to get the browser organized just so, and fiddle with the home page till it contains just the information I want on it, and looks just right, and I have to load up my browser and home page with lots of buttons and widgets and doodads. I know, it sounds like I have too much time on my hands. No, but actually this kind of tweaking is more about function than aesthetics-- in the end it does make surfing and doing work on the Web a whole lot easier (really it does).

Anyway, several months ago I wrote about how I'd discovered and started using Netvibes as a home page. Now, I found out that Pageflakes offers very similar types of pages and functions, and of course, iGoogle and Live.com also want to "get in on the action". But how is one to choose from among the competitors? Well, here's an in-depth article from CNET in Australia to your technical rescue:

Start-page smackdown: Netvibes, Pageflakes, iGoogle and Live.com

Personally, I think I'll be sticking with Netvibes (by the way, please do check out my new ReformingChristianity.com- Netvibes Universe", and you'll get a taste of what I'm describing in this article. Besides, it's a whole world for you crazy Calvinists to romp about in). Still, knowing myself, it's inevitable that I'll sneak over and give Pageflakes a try one of these days... 'cause I can't resist tweaking.

P.S. Just found yet another cool start-page website with Web 2.0 features: www.odysen.com

For further information

This PC Magazine article analyzes and compares some of the same top start pages sites as the article mentioned in my post: The Best Start Pages on the Web
See also: Top 5 personalized start pages
The Top Personalized Start Pages
10 Ajax Start Pages To Consider
The Future of Personalized Start Pages

Plus: See my new Web 2.0 Start Pages links list

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